Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Mandala Exploded and Other Accidents


One day, some time ago, I drew the tables and chairs at a local Subway sub shop. I loved the pattern they created, and the drawing wasn't bad. But I had drawn it in that other Moleskine that doesn't take color. So some time later I returned with my watercolor Moleskine and drew another scene. Mostly I colored on site, though some was colored later.

The most valuable lesson from this sketch was about the color black. I sometimes use Ivory Black to darken other colors and although that's okay, using color mixes are better. This time, though, I used Ivory Black to color letters on a poster. I figured on a poster it would be okay. In fact, it was not - poster or no. The color is somewhat overpowering and does not match the feel of the rest of the sketch. And in watercolors, it is awfully difficult to lighten black. A mix would have been better. I accidentally created a very nice colorful dark on the lower right corner of the pole, just below the red-cushioned chair. That would have been better don't you think?

And this is why we practice, right?

Accidents happen. We learn from accidents. For example, my first mandala exploded.

I learned about drawing mandalas from Nancy who led me here. Vague mezmerizing Indian tunes play in the background on unidentifiable instruments when you draw mandalas. Beautiful wavy lines drift as breezes blow. And you expand into higher consciousness as you explore the present moment with breathless awe. That's what's supposed to happen.

But caution: your mandala may blow up. My mandalas have been taut with inner conflict and anxiety. It's probably something from my childhood. But they are getting better. My latest is on the left. Perhaps there's hope for me yet.

Anyway, art is everywhere. One day I got out of the car and looked down and was struck by the pattern of the stones, colors, and textures. All at my feet. Serendipity! It was like modern art. So I took this photo to preserve the moment for Shadow Shot Sunday.


The great thing about art is that accidents happen. And the best accidents beget great art I think. That's what I am hoping, anyway.

24 comments:

  1. exploding mandala - still chuckling -

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  2. Your drawing of the chairs is great! And, I like the exploding mandala. Nicely done!!

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  3. Love your drawings!!! Great shot, you've got me thinking now, smallest of shadows count too. Almost seems more challenging that way. Thanks for the inspiration. Happy SSS! Christine :D

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  4. A great post - I like your exploded mandala! Very creative. There's definitely hope - I love how you're seeing art everywhere around you! It's there if we're tuned in.

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  5. Your post is still as entertaining as ever! I mean... exploding mandala ^^ who could have thought of that??? That's creativity 100 points plus another 100!!
    The chairs are beautiful too. You always pick the nicest view and perspective to draw =)

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  6. You are so funny! An exploding mandala. Sometimes we do take ourselves too seriously.

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  7. I Love the Exploding Mandala! lol And, I agree with you about the dark color you "accidentally" made by the pole. It's a beautiful color and would have looked very nice on the lettering instead of the black. Black can be very tricky, that's for sure. nancy

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  8. found art on the ground...love it

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  9. What is the sound of one mandala exploding? KABOOM!!!

    I love it!

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  10. This is hilarious! I can just see you making that exploding mandala! Here it is, supposed to be meditative, supposed to be relaxing, and yours looks like you had ten cups of coffee before you made it! I love it though; love the energetic feel. And your second on is wonderful too; still full of energetic lines.
    Your observation on the black really exposes how much you've learned about color thus far. I would never have thought twice about it!

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  11. Love the mandalas. I want to try! Yes, black is a no-no. We weren't allowed to use it at art school.

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  12. I've always been a doodler at heart so the mandala really excites me! So peaceful. Again, thanks for sharing, Dan. You do have a beautiful perspective of the world and always make me smile.

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  13. Once again, enjoyable in every way. Love the chairs. And the posters in the windows! Terrific! I am a big fan of interior shots. (Have you seen Jae Dougall's work? Totally different but I love her stuff!
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    Exploding mandalas! Whodathunkit? That one on the left looks like it has cartoon heads on the outside circle! Funny! I tried one...failed miserably. Yours are delightful!

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  14. Yeah! I still hear the mandala exploded. See? the earthy tones are great! & u captured subtle shadows in them.

    Job well done.

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  15. Thanks for stopping by. I am flattered by your comment, having just looked up Andre Kertesz! I am not sure I would have the patience to do a mandala - I mean, if they don't explode, they are deconstructed anyway at the end, yes? I like your sketches, too.

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  16. Nice drawing and I like the lesson about the "color black".

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  17. Thanks for the laugh regarding the explosion! You are right about the black, but it was a good lesson. I hope I can remember it. I am also wondering why black was included in my new wc set. Hmm?

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  18. I love your sketch, Dan. The black lettering doesn't bother me. I like the contrast. I almost always add blue to my black, or mix blue and burnt sienna to make it. I'm sure that if I were to try a mandela it would explode.

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  19. I really like your watercolour as it is, but now that you've pointed out the black vs mixed I see what you mean. The exploding mandala made me laugh. That's great! And a very nice shadow shot also.

    Wishing you many happy accidents! :)

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  20. I like your watercolor, and the photo has nice shadow..A very interesting post!

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  21. Your exploding mandalas remind me of some doodles I once saw made by J.R.R.Tolkien. More entertaining than most mandalas out there!

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  22. Do you have any video of that? I'd love to find out more details.

    my weblog - best Diet

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